pesto caprese sandwich with a balsamic glaze

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A pesto caprese sandwich with a balsamic glaze is my go-to sandwich on hot summer days when I don’t want my stove working! It’s also so simple to make using fresh ingredients that are in season such as fresh basil, juicy garden tomatoes, and my secret ingredient arugula! This is a sandwich that you have not had before! I take a classic pesto sandwich and transform it into something magical! 

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This Italian-inspired caprese sandwich can be enjoyed any time of the year. In the summer pick fresh tomatoes straight from the vines or head to your favorite farmers market to buy local produce. In the colder months when you are craving a taste of summer, take a stroll through our local supermarket- odds are they most likely will have these simple ingredients in stock. 

Unlike a grilled cheese sandwich which uses butter, this pesto caprese sandwich with a balsamic glaze uses good-quality olive oil that is brushed on each slice of ciabatta bread to make a divine toasty sandwich. And even though it is not traditional, I like to drizzle my sandwich with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze. In my opinion, it transforms the sandwich! 

If you would like to make this a meatless sandwich you can absolutely skip the prosciutto. Try my other meatless recipes that are loved! Avocado corn saladHomemade pastaRicotta cheese gnocchiCreamy potatoes with green beans, Roasted bell pepper BruschettaCucumber kimchi saladRoasted bell peppers in a cream sauce! All of these recipes are absolutely delicious! and I know that you will love them as well. 

Homemade fresh pesto 

Pesto is a bite full of summer flavors bursting in your mouth! Pesto is usually easily found at grocery stores.  If for some reason you can’t find some or you would like to make pesto from scratch- here’s a recipe for you! Note that pesto is always made to taste, based on the ingredients at hand. So adjust the ingredients to your taste. Basil is easily found in abundance at farmer’s markets during the summer.

 It’s a very simple process to make pesto, throw everything into a food processor and you have got yourself an aromatic sauce that can be used on pasta and sandwiches! 

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Steps to make homemade pesto

  1. Combine sweet basil leaves, pine nuts (or walnuts), and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
  2. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese and process for another 5 seconds just long enough to combine. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

This sandwich uses a ciabatta roll which is then toasted with rich olive oil, then is spread with a thin layer of pesto, then layered with fresh mozzarella or burrata,  prosciutto, tomato, fresh basil, arugula, and last but not least- balsamic glaze! You can place it on either a panini maker or a hot skillet to warm it up, or you can serve it as a cold pesto caprese sandwich with a balsamic glaze.

Ingredients for the Caprese sandwich

  • 1 ciabatta roll
  • 1 teaspoon good quality olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • 2 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto 
  • 3 slices of tomato (heirloom is best)
  • 1/4 cup arugula
  • 4 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese or burrata cheese 
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper flakes or ground black pepper

How to make a pesto caprese sandwich with balsamic glaze

The best part, this whole recipe takes no longer than 3-5 minutes. And you will have an iconic classic Italian caprese salad-inspired sandwich in no time!

Slice open the ciabatta bread in half. Drizzle with olive oil and toast it on medium-high heat using either a panini press for a few minutes till it becomes lightly golden brown for a crispy sandwich. I like using the panini grill because you can get those beautiful grill marks. You can also use a cast iron skillet. 

Spread a generous amount of pesto on both slices of bread.

Start with the bottom half of the ciabatta bread start to layer the sandwich with mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, slices of heirloom tomatoes, and arugula, then drizzle the balsamic vinegar glaze, close the sandwich with the top half of the bread, and serve! Enjoy right away, or wrap in parchment paper and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s ready to serve.

Substitutions

  • You can use sourdough bread instead of ciabatta.
  • Use any ripe tomato slices if you can’t find heirloom tomatoes.
  • Do not substitute the balsamic glaze for balsamic vinegar, that is not the same thing and it will make a huge difference in the sandwich!
  • Instead of sliced creamy mozzarella, some great options are mozzarella balls or burrata cheese.

PESTO CAPRESE SANDWICH WITH A BALSAMIC GLAZE

A pesto caprese sandwich with a balsamic glaze is my go-to sandwich on hot summer days when I don’t want my stove working! It’s also so simple to make using fresh ingredients that are in season such as fresh basil, juicy garden tomatoes, and my secret ingredient arugula! This is a sandwich that you have not had before! I take a classic pesto sandwich and transform it into something magical! 
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person

Ingredients
  

  • 1  ciabatta roll
  • 1 tsp  good quality olive oil 
  • 1 tbl  basil pesto
  • 2 slices thinly sliced prosciutto 
  • 3 slices tomato (heirloom is best)
  • 1/4 cup arugula
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese or burrata cheese 
  • 1/2 tbl  balsamic vinegar glaze
  • 1/8 tsp pepper flakes or ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Slice open the ciabatta bread in half. Drizzle with olive oil and toast it on medium-high heat using either a panini press for a few minutes till it becomes lightly golden brown for a crispy sandwich. I like using the panini grill because you can get those beautiful grill marks. You can also use a cast iron skillet. 
  • Spread a generous amount of pesto on both slices of bread.
  • Start with the bottom half of the ciabatta bread start to layer the sandwich with mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, slices of heirloom tomatoes, and arugula, then drizzle the balsamic vinegar glaze, close the sandwich with the top half of the bread, and serve! Enjoy right away, or wrap in parchment paper and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s ready to serve.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS

  • You can use sourdough bread instead of ciabatta.
  • Use any ripe tomato slices if you can’t find heirloom tomatoes.
  • Do not substitute the balsamic glaze for balsamic vinegar, that is not the same thing and it will make a huge difference in the sandwich!
  • Instead of sliced creamy mozzarella, some great options are mozzarella balls or burrata cheese.
Keyword caprese sandwich, sandwich

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